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  1. Can Mindfulness Meditation Improve Working Memory?

    Can Mindfulness Meditation Improve Working Memory?

    Researchers from Nova Southeastern University examined the impact of a one-week, at home, mindfulness meditation training, as compared to an active control condition, on improving working memory, decreasing mind-wandering and reducing the impact of stress on working memory.

    The results suggest that mindfulness meditation does not increase working memory or decrease mind wandering, but it does prevent stress related working memory impairments.

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  2. Guided Imagery while Moving Is Better than Plain Moving for Stroke Recovery

    Researchers from the Departments of Neurology and Anatomy and Neurobiology at the University of California, Irvine, examined the neural correlates of motor imagery when used in conjunction with movement of the paretic arm after stroke. Subjects were 7 patients in the chronic phase of stroke recovery (median (range): age: 58 years (37-73); time post-stroke: 9 months (4-42); upper extremity Fugl-Meyer motor score: 48 (36-64)).

    Participants actively moved the paretic/right arm under two conditions while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging. In the motor condition, pronation/supination movements were made in response to a visual cue. In the motor + imagery condition, the same movements were performed in response to a visual cue but the participants were instructed to imagine opening and closing a doorknob during performance of the movement.

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  3. 8 Week Mindfulness Course Yields Big Benefits for Brain & Behavior

    Researchers from the University of Siena in Italy and Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital/Harvard Medical School studied the neuro-anatomical and psychological impact of an 8-week mindfulness based stress reduction program (MBSR) on 23 subjects who were new to meditation.

    The investigators analyzed several morphometric indexes at both cortical and subcortical brain levels, as well as multiple psychological dimensions, before and after the 8-week training, comparing the meditators to age-gender matched subjects.

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  4. How Active & Effortful Must I Be while Listening to Guided Imagery?

    Hi Belleruth,

    Just a quick question: I have been listening to your guided imagery program for post-traumatic stress. Am I supposed to actively picture all this stuff, or is it like hypnosis where I just sit back and relax and "not try" and am basically hypnotized by it?

    I have been using it basically like hypnosis, even to the point where I don't remember any of it and open my eyes right at the second you tell me to.


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  5. A New Program for ADHD is Promising…

    Researchers from Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center conducted a pilot study - a randomized trial - to examine the efficacy of a program called Pay Attention!, with children diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Pay Attention! is a training program to teach sustained attention: selective, alternating and divided attention.

    After a diagnostic and baseline evaluation, school-aged children with ADHD were randomized to either receive 16 bi-weekly sessions of Pay Attention! (n=54) or assigned to a waitlist control group (n=51).

    Participants completed an outcome evaluation approximately 12 weeks after their baseline evaluation.

    Results showed significant treatment effects from parent and clinician ratings of ADHD symptoms, as well as the child’s self-reporting of his or her ability to focus, and the parents’ ratings of executive functioning.

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  6. Music Therapy Reduces Depression & Anxiety through Changes in Alpha, Theta Waves

    Investigators from the Department of Music at the University of Jyväskylä, in Jyväskylä, Finland conducted a two-armed, randomized, controlled trial (RCT) with 79 depressed clients who were also experiencing anxiety, in order to compare the impact of standard care versus Music Therapy (MT) in addition to Standard Care (SC), on symptoms.
    The purpose of the study was to examine the mechanisms involved in any improvements that might result from Music Therapy, with particular focus on anterior frontotemporal resting state alpha and theta brain waves*.
    Measures were taken at intake and after 3 months, using the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, along with EEG results.
    The research team found that music therapy significantly reduced both depression and anxiety symptoms.

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  7. Findings Show How Hypnosis Boosts Human Learning

    Investigators from the School of Medicine, University of Szeged in Szeged, Hungary, looked into the mechanism whereby hypnosis boosts human learning.
    It is known in a general way that learning and memory depend on different cognitive systems that are related to separate and distinct brain structures. These systems interact, not only in cooperative ways to optimize performance, but also sometimes in competitive ways.
    Previous studies have shown that by reducing the engagement of frontal lobe-mediated explicit attentional processes, improved performance can result in striatum-related procedural learning.

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  8. Cognitive Training Improves Memory, Attention in Aging Population

    Investigators from Maastricht University Medical Centre in The Netherlands reviewed the efficacy of cognitive intervention studies with the aging population, assessing earlier reviews by taking into account the methodological quality of the studies.
    They performed a systematic review of randomized controlled trials (RCT) and clinical studies published between August 2007 and February 2012 in Pubmed and PsychINFO. The quality of the included RCTs was assessed according to the CONSORT criteria for RCTs. A total of thirty-five studies were included; twenty-seven RTCs and eight clinical studies.
    The content of the intervention studies differed widely, as did the methodological quality of the included RCTs.

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  9. Diet and Food Sensitivities Link to ADHD and ADD

    Researchers from the Department of Psychology at the University of Southampton in the UK undertook meta-analyses of the efficacy of various non-pharmaceutical interventions for the treatment of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) – dietary approaches (restricted elimination diets, artificial food color exclusions, and free fatty acid supplementation) as well as psychological interventions (cognitive training, neurofeedback, and behavioral interventions).

    The authors searched electronic databases to identify published, randomized, controlled trials that involved individuals who were diagnosed with ADHD and included an ADHD outcome.

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  10. How Cognitively Acute Does a User of the TBI Imagery Have to Be?

    Hi Belleruth,

    I have used your tapes, CDs and mp3s for years, both personally and professionally.

    Now I have a family member with a severe TBI and am so grateful that you have a new guided imagery for that.

    However, I (and the neuropsychologist) want to know at what level on the RANCHO scale does a person need to be in order to begin to benefit from this.

    Please let me know. Thank you.

    LG, PhD, LCMFT

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